Clark State College Adds Drone Courses As Demand Grows



(TNS) – Interest is increasing in learning unmanned aircraft operations among civilians, local and state governments, and Clark State College is adding to its course offerings to meet demand.

“The continued boom in drone technology has transformed the Dayton area into the premier area for the development, testing and flight of innovative UAS technologies. In partnership with the Dayton Development Coalition, the Ohio Air National Guard, AFRL, regional colleges and universities, and private industries, Ohio has become a destination of choice for researchers, developers, manufacturers, suppliers, UAS trainers and educators, ”according to the Dayton Development Coalition.

Shannon Joyce Neal, spokesperson for the Dayton Development Coalition, said drones are an exciting area right now.

“It is a sector that the state and the region have strived to support for almost a decade, with a long list of partners working together to bring investment and jobs to the region,” she said. declared. “Over the years, we have shared the region’s strengths and resources at shows like AUVSI Xponential and worked with the Air Force and the State of Ohio to develop SkyVision.

Adam Parrillo, associate dean of the School of Business and Applied Technologies and GIS / Geospatial Program Coordinator at Clark State College, said, “There is growing interest in the field as federal, state and local governments support the use of drones, and as a drone the costs go down as technology improves. “

Parrillo said the college wants to be “at the forefront of connecting our community to this industry demand” and now offers a second drone licensing course through its workforce and enterprise solutions. They offered their first two-day course in March and five people attended.

“Now that we have a generation of individuals who have had drones for recreational purposes, they are looking for opportunities like this or not knowing about opportunities like this,” Parrillo said. “Part of what we do as a community college is to educate our region about these real opportunities for professional and personal growth. “

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Drone License Preparation Course for Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Operations, Planning and Flight will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 13 and 14, according to a college statement. .

“Being licensed to operate commercial drones is increasingly popular and useful in various fields,” said Gerritt Smith, director of Clark State Workforce and Business Solutions. “Emergency services agencies, real estate agents, photographers and videographers, agriculture, construction and many other industries can use drone flight and imagery to improve their businesses and services. “

Elaine Bryant, executive vice president of aerospace and defense at the development coalition, said drones have become more and more common in our daily lives.

“While uses like parcel delivery and video are well known, drones are excellent and increasingly common for reducing risk in everything from infrastructure maintenance to disaster relief. . In places where it is difficult for humans to venture into, drones can often be their eyes, ears, and more. Authorized operators are essential to ensure public safety during these flights, ”she said.

Clark State originally offered the course, Parrillo said, because drones are useful tools for collecting many types of data, from mapping to photography, and even real-time surveillance.

“Drones are increasingly used in all industrial sectors, including emergency service agencies, real estate, photographers and videographers, agriculture, construction, inspection. To undertake these activities, businesses and organizations must have remote pilots certified through the FAA, ”he said. “We figured, what about those who don’t have formal drone training or don’t have time to enroll in a college program, but maybe want to use their learned skills? more productively? It could be that door. “

The two-day course will prepare students for the Part 107 licensing exam by providing a hands-on opportunity to practice drone flight by simulation and on mini and medium-sized unmanned aerial drones, and students will receive a copy. ASA 2021 Remote Pilot’s Test Preparation Guide to prepare for the licensing exam, the release said.

“While individuals can fly recreationally without, certification must be obtained to perform any commercial activity (receive a financial benefit) with a drone,” Parrillo said. “Although this is only a 60-question multiple choice knowledge exam, you should be familiar with the regulations for drone activity, including the various airspace classifications, the basics of drone safety, reading aerial maps, understanding weather conditions and managing flight crews. “

Parrillo said it can be difficult to go through all of the information and this course can help guide potential pilots.

“Once cleared, the world of drones becomes much more tangible in terms of jobs and even careers. Although the drone market is still being developed, there should be real opportunities for those who are just getting started. this area sooner rather than later, “he said. “We hope this workshop will not only help individuals prepare to become remote pilots, but also connect them with Clark State’s opportunities to gain hands-on flight time and engage in activities that mirror the activities. current commercials. “

The course costs $ 375 per participant and Clark State will provide all the necessary equipment. To register, visit the college’s website under News.

Bryant said the Clark State location is an ideal location for UAS operator training because of its proximity to the Ohio UAS Center and Springfield Beckley Airport. She said Sinclair Community College also offers UAS-related courses and certifications, as well as being a national leader in the field.

“Adding another program to this ecosystem strengthens the Dayton region’s position in the industry and provides additional partnership opportunities. Thanks to the excellent work of Sinclair and Clark State, this region is once again leading the flight revolution, just as the Wright brothers did more than 100 years ago, ”he said. she declared.

As for the future of drones, Parrillo said there will be a demand for people with experience in all aspects. He said as the industry grows, there will be more and more specialization and automation.

Bryant said drones have the potential to revolutionize transportation.

“The future of flight will come from the convergence of UAS and eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. The regular use of small, agile planes capable of carrying several passengers, with or without a pilot, is in sight. These planes arrive in Springfield and their pilots will also learn to fly there, ”she said.

© 2021 Springfield News-Sun, Ohio. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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